This Pistachio Creme Cake is a trip to the Floating City itself! A pistachio filling is the star complimented by a yellow cake and a coffee chocolate frosting!
Traveling to Venice, what sticks the most isn’t the cathedrals, or the maze of streets, or the ubiquitous waterways, bobbing with gondolas.
No, the things that will surface to the top of your memory are the mornings.
Quiet and undisturbed.
Restaurants with crates of chilled fish deliveries, ice leaking all over the street. Old ladies with their rolling carts and grocery circulars in hand. Children chaperoned to school by parents and grandparents, backpacks, colorful plastic monstrosities, larger than the children themselves.
People walk into cafes, stand while drinking a cappuccino (scandalous news plays on the television, delivered in rapid-fire Italian) and having something or another flavored with pistachio.
Pistachio Creme Cake.
The filling will become a staple in your baking. Fill breads and pastries with this Pistachio Creme filling. Eat it straight up.
But here, it plays an undercover act between layers of a sunny yellow cake. Coffee enhances the Silky Chocolate Frosting, giving the cake a little mystique. This Pistachio Creme Cake is deceptive. It seems like an American dessert, but a single taste will reveal the leisured pace of a City of Canal morning.
You’ll feel very Venetian. And that’s never a bad thing.
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- For the Yellow Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons fine salt
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- For the Pistachio Creme Filling:
- 4 ounces pistachio paste, broken into small pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 Tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
- Green food dye
- For the Silky Chocolate Buttercream:
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup strong coffee, warm
- 2 cups (1 pound, 4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
- 2 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For assembling the Pistachio Creme Cake:
- Pink, burgundy, and green buttercream
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 3 (8-inch) cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip eggs, sugar, and extracts until mixture is glossy and pale yellow—the mixture will fall off the whisk in ribbon-like strands, about 2 to 3 minutes on medium to medium-high speed, lower speed to stir while you prepare wet-mixture
- Bring milk to a simmer in a saucepan, add oil and butter, combine to dissolve butter.
- With mixer on low, gradually add dry-ingredients, scrape bowl.
- On low speed add warm wet-mixture in a slow, steady stream, whipping until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist, not wet, crumbs. About 19 to 24 minutes. Let cakes cool for 5 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate (ideally overnight) until ready to assemble.
- Combine the first 5 ingredients into a saucepan. Once combined (there’ll still be chunk of pistachio paste), add in heavy cream.
- Set saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until smooth and thickened, about 8 to 9 minutes.
- Off heat, whisk in butter and food dye. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl, cover top of mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler, set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt with warm coffee, whisking by hand at first (to prevent a mess), then beating on low speed, to dissolve powdered sugar. On medium-low speed, gradually add butter until lump free. Don’t raise speed or else you’ll add too many air bubbles into frosting. Add in melted chocolate and vanilla.
- If cake layers have domes, use serrated knife to level off cakes.
- Fill a pastry bag with Silky Chocolate Frosting. Apply a bit if frosting into a cake board and secure the first cake layer. Pipe a border of frosting on perimeter, filling interior with pistachio creme, using an offset spatula to even out layers. Top with second cake layer and repeat process, topping it with the final, third layer.
- Make a crumb coating of frosting and chill cake for 30 minutes.
- Apply a thicker, final layer of frosting, using a bench scraper to smooth frosting. Chill for 15 minutes.
- To decorate, pipe a bit of pink frosting onto bottom half of cake, using a bench scraper to smooth frosting. Use a star tip to pipe a pink border of frosting on top and bottom of pink band. Pipe on a rose and finish with green leaves.